Tagging asylum seekers could breach their human rights, campaigners warn

    Campaigners have warned that the government’s plans to
    electronically tag asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers could
    breach their human rights, writes Amy
    Taylor
    .

    Ministers are planning to run tagging pilots in England, Wales and
    Scotland starting in the Autumn but this timescale could shift
    depending on progress with the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of
    Claimants, etc.) Bill, which contains the measures, becomes
    law.

    The bill had its third reading in the House of Lords last
    week.

    Asylum seekers who could be tagged are those who are waiting for a
    decision on their asylum claim who the immigration authorities
    believe may abscond. Failed asylum seekers waiting to be deported
    or sent home could also be tagged. A Home Office spokesperson said
    that plans only applied to adults.

    “We have got very serious human rights concerns on tagging
    asylum seekers,” said Shami Chakrabarti director of human
    rights organisation Liberty. She added that as well as the
    interference with asylum seekers’ liberty the tags would be
    stigmatising.

    Chakrabarti went on to highlight that the pilots would be the first
    time that tagging would be used outside the criminal justice system
    in the UK.

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